It has been a very busy week at school as we have continued to plan online lessons alongside following a normal timetable. I would like to recognise this hard work from the staff across the school who are currently preparing, organising and thinking ahead. In the last week, we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases in the ‘second wave’ rise in Slovenia (over 70 new cases in each of the last two days), we’ve had nearly 190,000 students across the country return to school this month and the recommendations from the ministry of health have remained at a very high level.
Due to this information, we have maintained our guidance in place for everyone to follow. It is tempting to reduce areas and offer more quickly, but with safety the priority, it is imperative that we think of everyone in the community. I can appreciate that we will have differing opinions on safety measures such as masks, hygiene, and even handshaking, through to social distancing, but we have to make a decision that is in the best interests of everyone in our community.
If children show signs of a runny or stuffed nose, sore throat and temperature or diarrhoea, they will be advised to stay at home for 3 days. If you are worried that you have been in contact with someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the advice from the NIJZ.
Thank you to all parents during this time for helping and supporting the school as we navigate a very challenging period together.
We are delighted that our first offsite trips have ran this week and very excited to welcome back the students today. Year 7 and 8 have been out on the Adventure Days (Marezige – Fiesa) and we look forward to the next group heading out next week. Our safety procedures were planned for the trip, including a wide range of measures in place, hygiene protocols and a full risk assessment. A review of the trip will take place when they return with the trip leader and possible further changes made if necessary.
Our Enrichment Days are now complete. Please click here to see a summary of the events a colourful photo gallery. The purpose of these Saturdays was to try and replace some of the face to face experiences that the students missed through online learning and we can say with absolute certainty that our students thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity.
As a school we often refer to our vision.
We aim to inspire lifelong learners and caring global citizens, in a community where everyone feels encouraged, supported and challenged.
I see all members of the community as ‘learners’. We all act, reflect and then think of our actions to try and improve what we do in the future. A part of this vision is to be ‘caring global citizens’. We can think of others before we make decisions, speak or act. As a community of many nationalities, we need to be aware of backgrounds, beliefs, religion, language and culture, amongst many other differences. With having the privilege of being an international community also comes a responsibility of treating people equally. I am proud that we can often talk about this and learn from each other.
Week 4 sees no further change to our safety guidance or operating procedures. Decisions are communicated each Friday and important updates may be made more frequently if guidance is provided by the Ministry of Health/Education for all schools in Slovenia.
Reopening / Safety Guidance
Safety is our number one priority at school and we continue to check and follow the latest guidance available (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, WHO, etc).
During week 4, we will continue with the following procedures in place on a temporary basis and will review daily and update each Friday:
- Sanitation guidelines, handwash and antibacterial gels will continue to be used throughout the school.
- Masks for staff and students (From Year 2) in corridors and common areas only, will continue to be used throughout the school.
- Lunches will be delivered to classrooms (This has removed the need for students to walk along corridors with masks).
- No large gatherings of students and teachers will be planned for indoors.
- Parents in the building by appointment only.
- After school supervision has been extended as mentioned above.
The following areas may be updated individually should further information from the sources above be confirmed:
- Masks for all staff in offices/smaller spaces.
- After-school clubs.
- Presentations for parents/calendared events (some events may take place in smaller groups at school, outdoors at school, virtually, etc)
- Possible split classes.
The latest guidance from NIJZ on wearing masks is illustrated in the table below.
- All students must have a signed declaration from their parents to allow them to return to school.
- All students should bring in their own resources, including water bottles, pencil cases, technology, headphones, etc as normal.
- Toilets will be cleaned frequently throughout the day. They will be used on an individual basis (one at a time) only, upon teacher’s permission.
- Students must follow health and safety guidance as directed by the school.
- Class teachers and Form tutors must make sure all students in school have a signed declaration from their parents.
- Teachers will ensure that classroom doors will be kept open and classrooms are well ventilated regularly.
- Teachers have access to hand sanitisers and sprays to maintain a high level of hygiene in the classroom.
- Staff must follow health and safety guidance and ensure that students do the same.
- Parents must provide a signed declaration before their child(ren) can return to school.
- Parents are not permitted to enter the school building without a prior appointment.
- Drop off and Pick up procedures should be followed as per guidance below (shared previously as well).
- Parents must follow health and safety guidance and encourage that students do the same.
- Parents who choose to keep their children at home during this time can access a provision of online learning and resources, provided by the teachers in the form of our Learning Management System, Canvas.
Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures
Thank you to all parents for displaying the name cards in your cars. This helps our team of teachers to communicate with each other and to safely bring your child to your car at the end of the day. A reminder for pick up procedures are below.
We encourage the following:
- Please do not arrive before 2.40pm.
- Please turn the engine off and wait in your car. We must think of the environment and the safety of our community.
- Primary students are led down to the pick up area by the class teacher at 2.50pm.
- Staff are on duty to take students to cars.
- Parents should display their signs, which includes the Year group and Names of children to speed up this process (Extra name cards are being printed and distributed by teachers from today, please display them on your dashboards). This will help staff identify which student you are waiting for as you remain in your car.
- Parents waiting in cars with the name sign displayed will speed up the pick up process and, most importantly, makes it safer.
- Secondary students can leave school at 2.55pm as they are not required to be supervised and taken to a car.
- Secondary students should not wait in the ‘corridor’ at the exit of the playground but should either wait on the grass area or leave the site.
I finish the week having completed 3 hours of learning walks around the school with various teachers. It has been a joy to see the students in lessons, highly engaged, excited to learn and happy to be with one another and with their teachers.
The focus of the learning walks for this week looked at ‘feedback’. I have seen numerous examples of written feedback in books with targets, areas to improve, verbal praise, group discussions and peer assessment. I have shared these examples with staff (including photographs) and this is part of the ongoing professional development of our teachers who often share best practice around the school, especially in the areas of teaching and learning that we identify as our ‘fundamentals’. As ‘lifelong’ learners, it is important that we model this as the students ultimately benefit.
This is an area that I will discuss further in the future as we constantly look to improve the pedagogical approaches in school and enhance further the high-quality of education offered at the British International School of Ljubljana.
As Principal, I walk around the school all the time and can see a clear improvement of the standard of lessons, level of engagement of the students in class and the excellent provision they get each day across the age groups. When I ask the students each day, they are excited to mention a wide variety of lessons, experiences, and activities that they have particularly liked and enjoyed.
This makes me very proud of our school.
Thank you for reading this update and have a wonderful weekend.